Skip to Main Content

About The Book

Inspired by the beautiful true story of a nonverbal boy moved to speech at his first Mozart concert, this picture book is a testament to the power of art and the boundless joy it can bring.

When Grandfather comes to take his grandson to a concert, Ronan is quiet as they leave the house, quiet in the car, and quiet at the concert hall. But when the performance is over and the beautiful music fades out at last, Ronan opens his mouth…and lets out a great big WOW!

Not any old WOW, but Ronan’s very first WOW! That one word fills up the hearts of Ronan’s family, the musicians, the audience, and—when the recording goes viral—the world.

About The Author

Todd Boss is an award-winning producer, writer, and innovator whose lyrics have been performed at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and around the world. He has published four poetry collections, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The London TimesAmerican Poetry ReviewBest American Poetry, and on National Public RadioThe Boy Who Said Wow is his debut picture book. Visit him at

About The Illustrator

Photo courtesy of the illustrator

Rashin Kheiriyeh has a master’s degree in graphic design and a doctorate in illustration and has illustrated more than eighty books in half a dozen languages, including Welcome Home by Aimee Reid and Story Boat by Kyo Maclear, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year. She was a 2017 Maurice Sendak fellow and is a lecturer at the University of Maryland. She was born in Khorramshahr, Iran, and now lives in Washington, DC. Visit her at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books (July 3, 2024)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534499713
  • Ages: 3 - 8

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

"Visually, the book soars... Boss’s use of sound effects (“Zimmity Zimmity Zum”) make this a pleasing read-aloud."

– HornBook, May/June 24 Issue

"A heartwarming testament to music’s emotional power."

– Kirkus Reviews, 2/15/2024

"The story is beautifully told with just enough well-chosen words.... An unusual picture book that tells a memorable story."

– Booklist, *STARRED REVIEW*, 2/15/2024

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this illustrator: Rashin Kheiriyeh